March 28: Louise Griffin Parkinson Arnoldson (1956)

On June 29, 1877, 10-month old Louise Griffin Parkinson was baptized at Epiphany. Serving as a sponsor was her grandfather, the Rev. Royal Parkinson, a Congregational minister from Maine and a Dartmouth College graduate, who had moved to Washington to take a job with the Treasury Department. Louise’s father, Joseph, also a Maine native, had lost his hearing from scarlet fever as a child and was educated at the Columbia Institute for the Deaf and Dumb (today’s Gallaudet University). Mr. Parkinson became a very successful attorney with the Patent Office. He eventually moved his family to Utah, where he was able to enjoy his love for nature and the environment.

In Salt Lake City, Louise married Torild Arnoldson, a native of Sweden and the head of the Foreign Language Department at the University of Utah. Their only child, Astrid, was born in Sweden, where the couple was living for a time. Louise earned a B.A. in French from the University of Utah and also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. Following her husband’s death, Louise took a job at the University of Montana, where she would spend the next 27 years as an associate professor in the Foreign Language Department. For her writings on French music and culture, Louise Arnoldson was posthumously made an Officier d’Académie of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques (depicted here) by the French government. The award was accepted by her daughter.

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